Hawaii med school’s mobile health van vandalized again

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The John A. Burns School of Medicine said its RV that serves as a mobile clinic to give free medical care was vandalized for the third time either late in the evening on Friday, Sept. 3, or in the early-morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 4.

The vehicle is called the “Hawaii H.O.M.E. (Houseless Outreach & Medical Education) Project RV,” and school officials said the RV was damaged twice before in 2021.

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The recent vandals sprayed graffiti on the van, which has been used for treating the homeless especially since COVID pandemic. The vandals also smashed the brake lights and “one side and it’s back were heavily damaged,” officials reported.

“Our mobile van is critical for the functioning of our clinic and we can’t provide our usual services without it. All of our operational costs are usually paid for via grants and grassroots fundraising, so unexpected expenses like these are extremely hard on us. To find the RV once again vandalized sometime last night is devastating for our medical students because volunteering on van missions is one of JABSOM’s requirements in the medical doctor program.”

Dr. Jill Omori
associate professor of Family Medicine & Community Health, Office of Medical Education director and Hawaii H.O.M.E. Project executive director
FILE – Back angle of vandalism on the JABSOM H.O.M.E. Project van, Manoa, Hawaii, Sept. 4, 2021. (JABSOM H.O.M.E. Project photo)

Officials said items were stolen and one of the windows was broken during the first targeted vandalism on the RV in early 2021. The RV was vandalized for a second time in February, when thieves reportedly stole the catalytic converter.

The most recent vandalization makes it third time the van was damaged in 2021.

The medical students use the van to attend to patients in the community that need healthcare, according to school officials.

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For more information or to donate, visit www.hawaiihomeproject.org

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